3-game Tournament using End Times rules (17 JAN 2015)
Joseph Bugman (General)
Ungrim, Incarnate of Fire
Thane: Battle Standard Bearer, Great Weapon, MRoGrungni, Strollaz' Rune, Ancestor Rune
Runesmith: Shield, Silver Horn of Vengeance, RoStone, RoSpellbreaking
Runesmith: Shield, Fiery Ring of Thori, RoStone, MRoPassage, RoSpellbreaking
Longbeards: x46, Shields, full command, RoStoicism
Bugman's Rangers: x34, full command
My first game paired me up against a guy I hadn't played or even seen at the shop before. He was a good opponent, though, and that made this game a little more bearable. He was using an Empire army, including a couple of Battle Wizards--I think the lv. 3 or 4 was using Life, while his lv. 1 or 2 was using Light. He also had Karl Franz Ascendant, 3 Cannons, and a Steamtank. I knew this would be a difficult game. I had to try to get into my opponent's units and try to pick up their points while surviving Karl Franz' onsaught--which just wound't happen, since he was on a flying mount... At the time, I was completely unfamiliar with Karl Franz Ascendant's rules, so I really didn't know what to expect except that my opponent told me he had 10 attacks that auto-wounded and allowed no armour saves... Great... Oh, and my general hated his general.
We deployed as you can see below. I was able to Vanguard my Shieldbeards and Gyrocopter up without any problems, since my opponent had no Scouts or Vanguard moves of his own. I thought my Rangers would be a good counter to the Knights on my left flank, and my hope was that I would be able to damage Karl Franz with Ungrim before he died--even if only with his deathblow, which would be better than nothing--and then bring my Rangers in to finish him off after taking out the Handgunners and Cannons on my left flank. I felt I would be able to survive the Steamtank. But the whole plan depended on my Shieldbeards surviving against Karl Franz. To make matters worse, when I deployed my units, my Shieldbeards ended up in a Venom Thicket, and I took several casualties (and a wound on one of my Runesmiths, too) from dangerous terrain tests, forgetting that I had the MRoPassage which made my unit immune to dangerous terrain tests!
My opponent won the roll-off for the first turn.
Empire Turn One: Karl Franz charged my Gyrocopter. My opponent was afraid of getting him stuck in with my Shieldbeards--should not have been--so, when he failed his charge due to my Gyrocopter's flee reaction, my opponent just took the failed charge. I was glad for that. The Halberdiers moved up, as did the Knights. The Steamtank came around on my right flank to line up a flank shot on my Shieldbeard unit and force some LoS! rolls. Then came the magic phase. This was my first game actually using the End Times magic system. I had run many simulations on my own, so I was prepared, but this was my first true-to-life encounter. I was careful to take good notes. We started with 19 power dice to 12 dispel dice. My opponent started by attempting to cast Throne of Vines. He rolled a single die for the number of dice he could use to attempt to cast it and failed the attempt. Then, Awakening of the Wood, rolled 1 die for, attempted on 1 die, and failed that one as well. So far, so good. But he had access to a lot more spells, and he still had a lot more dice than I did. He next attempted Dwellers on 5 dice, cast it successfully with a total of 19 against my Shieldbeards. That was too rich for my blood. Doing the math, I had to roll at least 7 dice for a decent chance at stopping it, and he could always cast it again. So, I used a RoSpellbreaking. So, he cast it again, this time on 4 dice, but failed the cast. Net of Amyntok was next, allowed 1 die to cast, and failed the attempt. Then, Shem's burning gaze, which also allowed 1 die to attempt the cast and failed. Then, Birona's Timewarp with 2 dice, cast on a 14, which I dispelled with 5 dice. Then Birona's Timewarp again, with 3 dice, cast on a 14, which I dispelled with 5 dice. Then, Birona's Timewarp yet again with 3 dice, cast on a 13, which I failed to dispel with my remaining 2 dice. That would be one crazy Karl Franz, but my opponent could have been casting something much worse. Turns out, he was relatively new player, so I'll forgive him for being easier on me than he might otherwise have been. In the shooting phase, my opponent killed a few Shieldbeards (I was able to pass all my characters' LoS! rolls).
Dwarfs Turn One: My opponent's magic phase had been far less painful than I anticipated as he was hampered by some really bad luck with his dice. I was encouraged. The first couple of turns would be crucial, and I still had a RoSpellbreaking left. I used my Silver Horn of Vengeance and charged at the enemy! My Shieldbeards charged Karl Franz on the right, and my Rangers charged the Knights on the left. Surprisingly, my luck was good and both units completed their respective charges successfully! My Gyrocopter rallied, but I was fairly certain that with my units locked in combat, my Gyrocopter would go down easily to the Empire Great Cannons. With no magic and no shooting, my turn was oddly brief considering how long my opponent's turn had been. My Rangers killed all but the Standard Bearer in the unit of Knights, who died upon failing his break test, and Bugman and company overran straight forward into the Handgunners. Meanwhile, Karl Franz killed a few Shieldbeards, with a couple of attacks directed at my "Blingsmith" (who died horribly). All in all, it could have been much worse. Ungrim opened up his attacks on Karl Franz, dealing three unsaved wounds that brought him down to 4 remaining wounds! The Shieldbeards managed to push another wound through on Karl Franz. Then, realizing what a threat Ungrim posed, he directed his Thunderstomp against him. Ungrim failed enough Ward Saves to go down, his deathblow attack dealing one more wound to the Ascendant Emperor, who now still had 2 wounds remaining... I had done everything I could, and Karl Franze was still alive. It was going to be virtually impossible to kill him now. My opponent only had to push Life spells through in order to keep him healed. Karl Franz actually lot combat, but my opponent said he was Unbreakable. That was disappointing. (I later learned that Karl Franz Ascendant is NOT Unbreakable. He is STUBBORN. Good to know for the future. That might have changed things!)
E2: My opponent turned his Steamtank towards my Shieldbeards. I was sure that he would crash into my flank and start murdering my Longbeards, but fortunately, he misfired and chugged forward a mere few inches. Then came the magic phase. The Winds of magic were slightly less forgiving this round. My opponent ended up with 16 PD to my 10 DD. Throne of Vines: 3 dice to cast, 3 dice used, succeeded with a 10, but I dispelled it with 3 dice. Throne of Vines again: 5 dice to cast, 3 dice used, succeeded with an 11, but I dispelled again with 3 dice. Throne of Vines again: 4 dice to cast, 3 dice used, succeeded with an 11, and I let it go, looking at my remaining 4 DD to his remaining 7 PD. Karl Franz regained a wound, though, which hurt. Flesh to Stone on Karl Franz: 1 die to cast, 1 die used, spell failed. Earthblood on the Halberdiers: 4 dice to cast, 2 dice used, spell failed. Storm of Renewal: 6 dice to cast, 5 dice used, spell failed. I sighed with relief. Shooting saw my Gyrocopter go down predictably to the Great Cannons, and we moved on to close combat. My Old Guard issued a challenge and died horribly, offering up maximum overkill. I took my Stubborn break test on Leadership 10 and passed. Meanwhile, the Rangers made mincemeat of the Handgunners and reformed to face the rest of the battle.
D2: My Rangers failed a charge against the nearest Cannon. Very, very unfortunate. It was a bit of a long charge, though, and fortunately, I did roll a 5 on one of my charge dice. Karl Franz killed several Shieldbeards, and in return, the Shieldbeards were only able to deal 1 unsaved wound against him. They passed their Stubborn break test again.
E3: The Steamtank made it into the flank of the Shieldbeards finally. That was going to hurt. But probably not as much as the magic phase. We started out with 13 PD to 8 DD. Flesh to Stone on Karl Franz: 5 dice to cast, 3 dice used, successful with a 16, so I used my remaining RoSpellbreaking to stop it. Flesh to Stone: 4 dice to cast, 3 dice used, successful with a 15, but I managed to dispel the spell with 5 dice. Flesh to Stone again: 2 dice to cast, 2 dice used, successful with an 8, and I wasn't able to dispel it. This was especially bad, because I had forgotten to dispel Throne of Vines on my turn! So, now, Karl Franz was Toughness 9... Finally, my opponent used the rest of his dice on Shield of Thorns, but failed to cast the spell. Karl was back up to 4 wounds now... Meanwhile, the Empire war machines managed to do only a few wounds against the Rangers. The Cannon closest to them misfired and self-destructed, which meant that the Rangers had another nearly impossible charge to attempt on my turn. Combat saw nearly another rank stripped off my unit from the Steamtank, while Karl Franz was kept in check by sacrificing my Runesmith in a challenge. But the Shieldbeards held out on their successful Stubborn break test. There was still some hope if I was able to get my Rangers into combat with Karl Franz in time--but that hope was now fast disappearing...
D3: The Rangers failed their charge against the Helblaster Volley Gun. This time, I remembered to dispel Throne of Vines. The Shieldbeards ended combat with their Standard Bearer remaining, who passed his Stubborn break test! The heroic last stand reminded me of Custer's ill-fated last stand...
E4: We were already running out of time, and none of the other games had gotten beyond round 3, so the tournament organizer extended the time. I was not concerned, though, because things were going to go quickly from here on. The Steamtank moved around my remaining Longbeards in order to get into position for potentially running amok into my Rnagers. The Handgunners and Halberdiers shuffled to form some semblance of a battle line. I should mention that the forest my Shieldbeards were fighting Karl Franz in was a Wildwood. At this point, the forest had done nothing to Karl Franz but had killed a few Shieldbeards. It now decided to kill my last one, leaving Karl Franz in place. At least he would not be able to charge my Rangers on his next turn, now. The magic phase was another 16-10. Throne of Vines: 1 dice to cast, 1 dice used, spell failed. Flesh to Stone: 2 dice to cast, 2 dice used, successful with a 12, but I dispelled with 5 dice. Flesh to Stone again: 1 dice to cast, 1 used, spell failed. Shield of Throns: 6 dice to cast, 3 dice used, but an unlucky rolled saw the spell failed. Earthblood: 4 dice to cast, 3 dice used, successful with an 8, but I dispelled with 4 dice. Earthblood again: 2 dice to cast, 2 dice used, spell failed. Regrowth: 3 dice to cast, 3 dice used, could not dispel, and Karl Franz gained a few wounds back. My opponent then cast another spell that failed, but I just can't remember what it was. My opponent shot at Bugman's Rangers with his remaining war machines, killing several.
From there, Karl Franz and the Steamtank did end up in combat with my Rangers. We played it out to turn 6, and while my Rangers held out, they only just barely survived. The game ended in a complete slaughter of the Dwarfs.
My second game was against a guy I have played a lot and really enjoy sharing the hobby with. But his army was nuts. He had a single unit of Gor, I think, with a couple Beastmen casters, a herdstone, 4 units of Pink Horrors, A Soulgrinder, a Lord of Change, 3 units of Screamers, 2 Burning Chariots of Tzeentch, and the Blue Scribes. Basically, he had taken his Tzeentch army and added a herdstone in order to abuse the fact that there is no maximum limit to the number of power dice a player can generate when using End Times magic by abusing the Legions of Chaos list to simply add the tax to do so. My characters decided they hated my opponent's characters, and once again I lost the roll-off for first turn.
Chaos Legions Turn One:
My opponent moved his chariots over around the left flank of my Rangers, along with a unit of Screamers. Basically everything else just shuffled around so that I would have a hard time getting my units into close combat. Then came the magic phase... 25 PD to my 9 DD! My opponent channeled 2 dice, rolled up 15 for the winds of magic, and got 8 dice just from having wizards around the herdstone. Let that sink in for a minute. My opponent rolled a very average roll for the Winds of Magic. 25 PD to 9 DD. The magic phase began with the Blue Scribes casting Burning Head for free. I let it go. Final Transmutation on my Longbeards: 4 dice to cast, 4 dice used, failed due to a bad roll. Plague of Rust: 1 die to cast, 1 die used, spell failed. Curse of Anrahir: 6 dice to cast, 4 dice used, successful with a 15, but I was able to dispel the spell using 5 dice. Curse of Anrahir: 3 dice to cast, 3 dice used, and the spell was successfully cast with Irresistible Force, killing 5 Beastmen and causing the unit to panic and flee; the caster took a wound, and 3 dice were lost from the power pool. Tzeentch Firestorm: 2 dice to cast, spell failed. Infernal Gateway: 4 dice to cast, 4 dice used, successful with a 16, and I let it go. It dealt 5 hits at Strength 10, dealt 5 wounds, but then I saved 4, losing a single Shieldbeard! Bolt of Change: 3 dice to cast, 2 dice used, successful with a 10, but I was able to dispel the spell using 3 dice. 3 dice to cast, 2 dice used, successful with an 11, and I let it go. Blue Fire: 1 dice to cast, 1 dice used, successful with a 7, and I failed to dispel the spell. In the shooting phase, both of the Chariots shot their spurts of flame at my Rangers and cut the unit in half. The game was not going my way...
Dwarfs Turn One: My Gyrocopter and Longbeards charged the unit of Pink Horrors nearest them. My Longbeards failed, but my Gyrocopter made it in. The Rangers charged the Soulgrinder. They needed boxcars to make the charge and ended up failing. At least they still got nearly as far as they would have had they marched forward. In my magic phase, I got 19 PD to my opponent's 13 dispel dice. I spammed Ungrim's Lord of Fire spell, but I couldn't get it through my opponent's magic defense. I didn't even make him sweat. There was no shooting, so we went straight to combat. My Gyrocopter and the Pink Horrors traded wounds, and everybody stayed around. I was feeling very glad I had taken that MRoPassage!
CL2: My opponent flew some more Screamers over to torment my Rangers and basically moved everything around so that I would have a hard time charging it. Then came the next magic phase: 23 PD to my 8 DD... Doom and Darkness: 2 dice to cast, 2 dice used, spell failed--fortunately! Pink Fire: 2 dice to cast, 2 dice used, successful with a 9, and I let it go--Strength 5 and 9 dead Longbeards later, I regretted doing so. Pink Fire: 3 dice to cast, 3 dice used, successful with an 8, but I dispelled the spell with 3 dice. Pink Fire: 2 dice to cast, 2 dice used, successful with a 9, but I dispelled the spell with 3 dice. Fate of Bjorna: cast for free by the Blue Scribes; I let it go, it dealt for wounds to my BSB. I saved 3 of those wounds, but my BSB would be Stupid for the rest of the game... Soulblight against my Longbeards: 4 dice to cast, 3 dice used, successful with a 15, and I used a RoSpellbreaking to stop it. Soulblight against my Longbeards again: 3 dice to cast, 3 dice used, successful with a 15, and I used my other RoSpellbreaking on it. Soulblight again against my Longbeards: 4 dice to cast, 3 dice used, successful with a 12, and I failed to dispel the spell with 2 dice. Soulblight against my Longbeards again: 3 dice to cast, 3 dice used, successful with an 11, and I had nothing left to stop the spell. Pink Fire: 1 die to cast, 1 die used, spell failed. Flock of Doom: 1 die to cast, 1 die used, spell failed.
Finally, we moved on to the shooting phase, where my Rangers got more of the same they were dealt the turn before. The unit was now going to be a lost cause. We had a rules dispute at this point. Help me out if any of you know how this is supposed to work. So, there's an effect that some Tzeentch stuff has that makes an enemy unit take a Toughness test at the end of a phase in which that unit has taken a casualty from something. My opponent insisted that the Toughness test is taken against the majority toughness of the unit. But looking at the BRB rules for characteristic tests, it states that the test is taken against the highest characteristic of the model (unit). The example it gives is that of a cavalry model, so we're at a bit of a dilemma here. Do I get to take the Toughness test against Bugman's Toughness 5, or do I have to take the Toughness test against the Rangers' Toughness 4? And if I can take the Toughness test against Bugman's Toughness 5, do I have to allocate any hits due to a failed test against Bugman? Or are the hits allocated to the unit?
D2: My Rangers charged the Soulgrinder again--and failed their charge again. My Longbeards successfully completed their charge into the Pink Horrors. In combat, my Dwarfs slaughtered the Pink Horrors, reforming for multiple charges on my next turn (hopefully).
CL3: My opponent charged his Soulgrinder, Chariots, and one unit of Screamers into my Rangers. Magic hurt worse this time, since I no longer had my Runes of Spellbreaking to defend. 21 PD to 9 DD. Soulbight: 5 dice to cast, 3 dice used, successful with an 11, but I dispelled the spell with 4 dice. Soulblight: 6 dice to cast, 3dice used, successful with a 15, but I dispelled with 5 dice. Soulblight: 2 dice to cast, 2 dice used, spell failed. Doom and Darkness: 4 dice to cast, 3 dice used, spell failed by 1. Fate of Bjorna: Free from the Blue Scribes; I can't stop it. Pink Fire: 2 dice to cast, 2 dice used, spell failed. Final Transmutation against my Shieldbeards: 2 dice to cast, 1 dice used, spell failed. Purple Sun against my Shieldbeards: 2 dice to cast, 2 dice used, spell failed. Infernal Gateway: 1 die to cast, 1 die used, spell failed. Large Firestorm of Tzeentch: 2 dice to cast, 1 die used, spell failed. Blue Fire: 1 die, Strength 1. Blue Fire: failed. Flock of Doom: 2 dice to cast, 2 dice used, successful with an 11, and I can't stop it. My Rangers stuck around in combat, because they were Stubborn, and while Bugman survived narrowly, my Rangers were not going to be around for long.
D3: I decided to split my characters up. I figured each of them could handle themselves on their own, as could the Shieldbeards, so I used the Silver Horn and charged Ungrim, the Tunesmith, and my BSB into the unit of Beastmen. I charged my Blingsmith into a unit of Pink Horrors on my right flank. Ungrim killed a whopping 2 Beastmen models, while my BSB killed off the spellcaster on the left and my Tunesmith killed off the caster on the right. The rest of the unit panicked and I had the Tunesmith chase them to make sure I got the points. Ungrim and my BSB reformed to face off against other threats. The Blingsmith killed three Pink Horrors with his attacks and 5 more with the Fiery Ring of Thori, taking no wounds in return and destroying the enemy unit. Meanwhile, my Shieldbeards reformed to face off against all the stuff that made short work of my Rangers and Bugman.
CL4: We were running short on time, so this would be the last round we would be able to get in, unfortunately. My opponent charged both chariots, the Soulgrinder, and his Lord of Change into my Shieldbeards. Only one chariot and the Lord of Change managed to make it into combat. Everything else moved about to acquire targets for casting spells or to avoid combat if possible. Some Screamers did enough damage to my BSB to deal the last wound and kill him. Then came the dreaded magic phase. Having taken out some of my opponent's wizards and units, things were a lot less scary this time round. 13 PD to my 8 DD. Purple Sun for free from the Blue Scribes: I dispelled the spell with 5 dice! Infernal Gateway: 3 dice to cast, 3 dice used, spell failed. Blue Fire: 6 dice to cast, 1 die used, successful with a 7, and I let it go; it killed my Blingsmith... Summon Infernal Legion: 3 dice to cast, 3 dice used, spell failed. Warpfire Vortex: 3 dice to cast, 3 dice used, and the spell failed. It could have been so much worse. I was glad for my luck! Combat saw my Shieldbeards do a single unsaved wound to the Lord of Change and 3 unsaved wounds to the Chariot. But they took several casualties from the daemonic onslaught. They held their ground, though.
D4: Ungrim charged the Soulgrinder. It was a long charge, but he made it in! He obliterated the as-of-yet unscathed Soulgrinder in one go and overran almost enough to contact the chariot on the other side. That would help! Meanwhile, the Longbeards held their own against the Lord of Change and dealt the last wound to the Chariot, grabbing its points in the 11th hour!
We tallied up the victory points, and I came out ahead by 104 points, I think! I won by a slim margin. It was little comfort, though, because had we played that game out to 6 rounds, my Dwarfs may very well have been tabled. I have little doubt I would have lost devastatingly.
My last game was against Lizardmen. Ethereal Slann with Wandering Deliberations, 3 or 4 units of Skink skirmishers, a couple units of Chameleon Skinks, a Saurus BSB, 2 Skink Priests, a special character Stegadon (?), and three blocks of 30 Saurus Warriors. Had I come up against this force in a regular 8th edition game, I would have been mildly anxious. With ET magic, I was downright hopeless. The only reason to play the game would be to see how badly I would lose. My characters hated my opponent's characters, and I once more lost the roll-off for first turn, unsurprisingly.
Lizardmen Turn One: The Skink cloud moved forward, and the rest of the Lizardmen hordes moved up behind them. The magic phase was brutal: 15 Pd to my 12 DD initially gave me a sense of encouragement. I felt I could handle that. But then, the Slann started actually casting spells. Throne of Vines: 2 dice to cast, 2 dice used, successful with a 15, and I let it go. Flesh to Stone: 1 die to cast, 1 die used, spell failed. Plague of Rust on my Shieldbeards: 6 dice to cast, 2 dice used, successful with a 15, but I was able to dispel the spell with 5 dice. His 2 PD to my 5 DD was not a good trade. I was starting to get nervous. Plague of Rust again: 2 dice to cast, 2 dice used, successful with a 12, and I failed to dispel the spell with 4 dice. That was frustrating. Plague of Rust again: 1 die to cast, 1 die used, successful with a 9, but I was able to dispel the spell with my 3 remaining dice. Plague of Rust again: 4 dice to cast, 2 dice used, successful with an 8, and I had to use my first Rune of Spellbreaking to stop it. Plague of Rust again: 2 dice to cast, 2 dice used, successful with a 14, and I had to use my second Rune of Spellbreaking to stop it. Plague of Rust AGAIN: 5 dice to cast, 2 dice used, successful with a 12, and now I had nothing left to try and stop my opponent's spells. Plague of Rust AGAIN: 2 dice to cast, 1 die used, successful with an 8. Plague of Rust AGAIN: 3 dice to cast, 1 die used, and the spell finally failed. At the end of the magic phase, both my Rangers and Shieldbeards were down to a 6+ armour save. The shooting from the Skinks and Stegadon could have been worse, but I was really feeling grateful for the MRoGrungni after several 5+ Ward Saves against the Lizardmen shooting. My luck just would not hold out against that sort of magic, though...
Dwarfs Turn One: I moved my Gyrocopter and my Blingsmith to use their template attacks against the bunched up Skinks near my Shieldbeards. I then moved the Shieldbeards towards the Lizardmen combat lines. I made a mistake here, though. I had my Rangers stay in place thinking they could shoot at something. I felt like I might actually have ranged superiority in this game, since my opponent basically had a bunch of Skinks and a bolt thrower on the Stegadon. My armour was basically gone, but I still had the MRoGrungni WS to fall back on. Unfortunately, I didn't think at the time that my opponent's magic phase could contribute to his ranged capabilities. I should have just moved the Rangers up right alongside the Shieldbeards. In my magic phase, I spammed Lord of Fire, forgetting to dispel Throne of Vines. My opponent stopped every last cast of Lord of Fire, except the last--and he would have stopped that one, too, had I not gotten Irresistible Force. I rolled an 11 for the number of hits, and killed 9 of the 10 Skinks in the unit directly in front of my Shieldbeards, who panicked and fled back towards their own table edge. I then shot the Saurus Warriors beyond, rolling pitifully and dealing a single unsaved wound to them. What a waste! I was frustrated that I hadn't just marched them forward as I had done with my Shieldbeards. The Gyrocopter and Runesmith killed a ton of Skinks on my right flank, destroying one of the units on that side and damaging another. I had effectively taken the teeth out of the Skink cloud, which was really my biggest tactical worry in the game. The next challenge would be breaking the back of the Lizardmen army by crushing the Saurus blocks in close combat. Provided my Dwarfs survived to get there...
L2: The Lizardmen once again moved around to get good lanes of fire with which to shoot my units and to avoid allowing my Dwarfs to engage them in close combat. The magic phase was worse than I might have expected: 12 PD to my 6 DD. My opponent started with Searing Doom: 5 dice to cast, 2 dice used, spell failed. Flesh to Stone: 3 dice to cast, 2 dice used, and I let it go. Plague of Rust: 2 dice to cast, 2 dice used, successful with Irresistible Force. Notice that had I been not an idiot and dispelled Throne of Vines on my turn, my opponent would not have been able to ignore the miscast on a 2+, which he did in the end. My Shieldbeards no longer had any armour save whatsoever. Shem's Burning Gaze was next: 4 dice to cast, 1 die used, successful with a 10, and I let it go. Firebll: 6 dice to cast, 1 die used, successful with an 8, but I was able to dispel the spell with 2 dice. Fireball again: 2 dice to cast, 1 die used, successful with a 10, and I let it go. Fireball AGAIN: 4 dice to cast, 1 die used, successful with a 12, and I let it go again. He finally killed my Blingsmith. That wasn't happy. Plague of Rust: successful, I had no magic defense left, and now my Rangers no longer had an armour save. Plague of Rust AGAIN: successful, I had no magic defense left, and now my Gyrocopter was down to a 5+ armour save. My Gyrocopter panicked and fled away from the Runesmith that had been burnt to a crisp nearby. Shooting dealt some more casualties, but still nothing serious.
D2: I needed a horribly long charge (11, I think?) for the Longbeards to reach the middle unit of Saurus Warriors. I would probably not give up much movement if I failed the charge, and who knows? I might make it. So, I declared the charge. I rolled the dice, and my Shieldbeards made it in! My opponent and I were both quite surprised. My plan was to hopefully crush the Saurus in combat, pursue or overrun as the case may be, and then turn in time for a double-charge with the support of my Rangers against the Slann and/or the Saurus block on my left flank. After that, I could turn my attention to the remaining Saurus block and Stegadon (which I anticipated would go down easy to Ungrim). My Gyrocopter rallied, but it wouldn't matter with all those Skinks around. And finally, my Rangers marched forward this time, as they should have done last round. I remembered to dispel Throne of Vines this time. Too little too late, though. The Shieldbeards butchered the Saurus and pursued them, but ultimately failed to run them down. I was okay with that. I would have preferred to have destroyed the unit completely, of course, but they really were no longer a threat, I felt. Panic checks were all passed, and we moved on to my opponent's turn.
L3: The Lizardmen moved to react to my Shieldbeards. His fleeing units rallied. 18 PD to 11 DD this time, which was not a good thing. Nothing was a good thing for magic this game, but that kind of ratio meant I would be completely at my opponent's mercy. Throne of Vines: 5 dice to cast, 2 dice used, successful with a 13, and I chose to let it go. Shem's Burning Gaze: 1 die to cast, 1 die used, successful with a 9, and I let it go. The spell killed my Gyrocopter. Flesh to Stone on the recently-rallied Saurus Warriors: 2 dice to cast, 2 dice used, successful with a 16, but I was able to dispel the spell with 4 dice. Had I known what was coming, I would have let that go and dealt with T8 Saurus Warriors. Soulblight: 1 die to cast, 1 die used, and the spell failed. Regrowth on the same Saurus block: 3 dice to cast, 3 dice used, successful with a 13, and I let it go. My opponent healed two Saurus Warriors, but it really woundn't have mattered. Dwellers: 4 dice to cast, 4 dice used, successful with a 19, but I was able to dispel the spell with 7 dice. Fulminating Flame Cage: 4 dice to cast, 3 dice used, successful with a 14, and I had nothing left with which to try and stop the spell. This was REALLY bad. I would lose half the unit if I decided to move them at all! My plan had been completely nullified. I would not be able to move my Shieldbeards on my turn, which meant that I had lost the initiative in the battle. My opponent would be able to charge them on multiple sides, and I would have to hope they could hold out until my Rangers could cross enough of the board to relieve them... Shooting killed a few more Dwarfs.
D3: My Rangers attempted a long charge against the Saurus Warriors on the left flank, but they failed and moved up 5 inches. I flung several Lord of Fire attempts at the Saurus Warriors in front of me, but I ended the magic phase having done a single unsaved wound to them with their magically enhanced Toughness 8. With no shooting and no combat, it made for a very short turn.
L4: We were once again running out of time already, so this would be the final round. The Saurus Warriors on my left charged into the flank of my Shieldbeards, while the Saurus Warriors to my front charged their front. The Stegadon charged into the rear of the unit, and the other unit of Saurus Warriors charged their right flank. I figured I was about to be very glad that my unit was Stubborn! Skinks moved around to shoot at my Rangers later, and we moved into the worst magic phase yet: 20-11. Flesh to Stone on the Saurus in the center: 1 die to cast, 1 die used, and the spell failed. Flaming Sword of Rhuin: 4 dice to cast, 2 dice used, successful with an 11, and I let it go. There were worse things yet to fear still to come, I was certain. Enchanted Blades of Aiban: 5 dice to cast, 2 dice used, successful with an 11, and I let it go. Enchanted Blades of Aiban: 1 die to cast, 1 die used, and the spell failed. Wyssan's Wildform: 3 dice to cast, 2 dice used, successful with an 11, and I let it go. Wyssan's Wildform again: 4 dice to cast, 2 dice used, and the spell failed. Speed of Light: 1 die to cast, 1 die used, and the spell failed. Birona's Timewarp: 6 dice to cast, 3 dice used, successful with a 16, but I was able to dispel the spell with 5 dice. Birona's Timewarp: 5 dice to cast, 3 dice used, successful with a 16, but I was able to dispel the spell with 4 dice. Mystifying Miasma (empowered version): 6 dice to cast, 3 dice used, successful on a 16, and I failed to dispel the spell with my 2 remaining dispel dice. It lowered my shieldbeards' stats by 1, fortunately, but it was still bad. Hexes and augments everywhere were going to make it hard for my Dwarfs to hold out! I had to pass lots and lots of Parry saves--that is, where my Dwarfs would even be allowed a Parry save... Shooting killed a couple more Rangers, and it was on to combat. I moved Ungrim over to face off against the BSB and Stegadon. He totally fluffed his attacks and was then cut down for his trouble--also fluffing his deathblow. What a jerk. Stupid Ungrim. (I'm still really excited about painting that model, though, with the fire-and-dragon theme! I'm glad I have 2 of them so I can paint one up as regular Ungrim and the other as Ungrim, Incarnate of Fire!) Anyway, when all was said and done, I lost a bunch of Dwarfs, the Lizardmen lost hardly any Saurus Warriors, and my Shieldbeards passed their Stubborn break test.
D4: The big question: Would my Longbeards hold out one more round of combat? My rangers once more charged the Saurus Warriors on my left flank, but once again, they failed the long charge, so no help was coming. I had to rely on the Shieldbeards' Stubborn and numbers. When the dust settled, the Shieldbeards had survived. Had we played the game out to its full 6 turns, I am confident that my opponent would have tabled my Dwarfs.
The game ended in a solid win for the Lizardmen. I concluded that the End Times truly make the Dwarfs an endangered species. I further concluded that the new magic rules are broken as hell! The following is an analysis of the magic phases in these games.
Out of my three games, I only played one full game. (I think I may have been the only player there, along with my opponent for that game, who saw an entire game through to the end!) I basically didn't have a magic phase of my own, since I was playing a Dwarf army with access to a single innate bound spell. Meanwhile, my opponents spent ludicrous amounts of time on their magic phases (not because they weren't decisive or spent long amounts of time deciding what to cast, but simply because it took forever to go through all the steps, taking a reasonable amount of time to make decisions) as I sat there trying to decide what spells to let through and what spells to stop, because there was no way I was going to be able to stop all the spells I needed to stop. Those made all three of my games just crappy. I did not enjoy them, and the entire day was just as painful as I anticipated it would be. It's hard to just stand there and watch as my opponent casts spells, one after another, with the crippling feeling that there's just nothing I can do about it. At least one of my opponents took pity on me, choosing spells to cast that would at least allow me to stay in the game, though I still lost the game badly--didn't even have a chance to win!
The spells currently available are far too powerful for a 4D6-PD magic phase with no limit to the power pool. The magic phase was the reason I lost my games. (There might have been other reasons I would have lost my games, but none of those reasons would hold a candle to my opponents' magic.) Even against the Legions of Chaos (Tzeentch) army, I only won because we ran out of time. Had we played through even one more round, I am confident that the Chaos magic would have won him the game with a huge margin. The 8th edition magic phase is already painful enough to live through with its existing imbalances. Taking that same mechanic and doubling it, while at the same time removing any restrictions, absolutely breaks the game. AND I PLAYED DWARFS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! If Dwarfs can't hope to stop magic, then no one can.
Just a little food for thought: 1) In three games, my opponents had 14 magic phases total--should have been 18, but like I said, I didn't get to finish two of my games). 2) Out of 14 enemy magic phases, my opponents attempted a staggering 115 spells! That's over 8 spells attempted per magic phase! 3) 41 of those spells failed for one reason or another. That's just under a 36% fail rate. That may seem high, but it actually translates to less than 3 failed spells per magic phase. That means more than 5 spells were successfully cast each magic phase! 4) 31 spells were successfully dispelled. That's a dispel rate of just under 27%. Here, it bears noting that Dwarfs have some distinct advantages when it comes to dispelling, not least of which is the fact that I had two Runes of Spellbreaking--Bretonnians are the only others who get a second automatic dispel (if I recall correctly). Beyond that, any wizard attempting to dispel a spell will get a bonus to the dispel attempt equal to the wizard's level, but the wizard must roll for the number of dispel dice used in the dispel attempt. Dwarfs can dispel "with the army" and still get their innate +2 bonus to dispel while choosing how many dice they want to use to try to dispel a spell. 5) 43 enemy spells were successfully cast and not successfully dispelled by me. That's a success rate of over 37%, which translates to just over 3 spells successfully cast and not dispelled PER MAGIC PHASE! (In one magic phase (the top of the first turn of one of my games), I had Plague of Rust successfully cast at me 7 times in a row, 5 of which I was able to stop, though it burned through both of my Runes of Spellbreaking! My opponent was still able to cast Plague of Rust twice successfully, then Throne of Vines, and finally, failed to cast Plague of Rust, still had dice, and finally failed to cast Flesh to Stone. All in the first turn of the game!!!) Compare that with the normal 1 spell or less that would often get through my magic defense using regular 8th edition magic.
Edited by Swordthain, 13 September 2016 - 06:50 PM.